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Spanish Vuelta starts in Pamplona, favors climbers

Updated: January 11, 2012, 11:03

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) Spanish Vuelta organizers unveiled a 2012 route that favors climbers in a race confined to the north of the country.

The 21-stage, 2,050-mile race begins in Pamplona, best known for its annual Running of the Bulls event in July, on Aug. 18. It ends in Madrid on Sept. 9.

Climbers will face 13 mountain stages that include six summit finishes, including three straight over stages 14-16. A penultimate stage finish at 7,380 feet at the Bola del Mundo outside the Spanish capital could decide the winner.

Defending champion Juan Cobo of Movistar expects the race to be "very demanding and spectacular.''

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